A good day for Andalusia, Covington County

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 4, 2013


Standing under a celebration tent from which Vector Aerospace was serving a veritable feast yesterday, former Covington County Economic Development Commission executive Tucson Robert recalled how hard he and others worked to get the helicopter maintenance facility here.

It was in 2003 or 2004, Roberts recalled.

“We begged them,” he said.

The company that is now a part of Vector started in a leased hangar at South Alabama Regional Airport. It grew slowly but steadily.

And it blossomed.

Yesterday’s aforementioned celebration was for the company’s grand opening of its expanded facility, now 85,000 square feet, and home to 150 employees. Vector’s corporate CEO Declan O’Shea said he expects continued growth at this facility, and attributed recent and future growth to the quality of work performed here, about $30 million worth each year.

A release from the governor’s office prior to the event indicated future expansion plans would be announced yesterday. While that didn’t happen, it was still an important day for Vector and our community.

The many local residents and state and regional dignitaries showed their appreciation for Vector’s presence in Alabama and in Covington County. Anyone who spoke personally with O’Shea heard him talk about the warm hospitality he receives every time he visits.

In turn, Vector was expressing its appreciation to the community, employees and customers who make their work possible here. In so doing, they drew a number of people to our community, which just gave our leaders another opportunity to sell us.

It was drizzling outside, and we didn’t get an overt “big announcement” that we’d been led to believe was coming. But it didn’t rain on our parade, nor dampen the spirits of those who work hard for and in our community every day.

To Vector, we say thanks for being here. For Roberts and the many others who’ve worked hard to bring them here and keep them here, kudos as well.

Our community is better off for all of your work.